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July 25, 2006

Living with Strangers

Yesterday I ran into my former roommate Rob in front of the People's Food Coop. I first met Rob in the fall of 2001 when I answered his ad for a roommate, which I found on the bulleting board at the coop. I had been living in Ann Arbor for about six months, but the relationship I was in was ending and I was desperate for a new place to live. Rob had what seemed like the coolest apartment in all of Ann Arbor: a three-bedroom loft on Main Street, just south of Liberty. When I went to check the place out, Rob's girlfriend was there, and she seemed perfectly nice, which made me feel better about the idea of moving in with a guy I had just met. There was also another woman, Heather, living in the third bedroom.

It turned out that we were all going through breakups. I didn't see Rob's girlfriend any more, and Heather was breaking up with her boss, who had sponsored her work visa, and she ended up having to move back to Canada. After she left, a parade of women moved in and out of that bedroom over the next eight months: Alison the undergrad, Mavi who was studying for the LSATs, Lisa from Buffalo who was taking classes from David's summer program (and who ended up dating Rob!), and an exchange student from Germany whose name I forget. There may have been one or two others who are slipping my mind right now.

Rob was a good roommate in the sense that he was hardly ever home, but when he was home, he usually had some creepy friend over. He was also very mysterious. To this day, I'm not sure I ever knew his last name, though I must have done, because I had to write checks to him for the rent and utilities. I never saw him without a baseball cap on, which makes me wonder what he is hiding under the cap. Also, Rob is self employed, and I never quite understood what he did. He always referred to it as "information research," but he also talked about buying loans, and at times I wondered if he was selling drugs. And I always wondered why he always found women to rent his extra bedrooms. In the end, he was harmless, and he did give me (or rather rented me) a fabulous place to live when I needed one, but he is not someone I would choose to hang out with.

Posted by eklanche at July 25, 2006 10:09 AM


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